Episode 45 - Continuity Bolts
In this episode we discuss what happens when your publisher pulls your book for censorship reasons, map out places from literature, making your story more believable with continuity bolts and how to write a screenplay with Celtx.
Works in Progress
[00:00:37] Mike wrote an 800-word blog post. He did not get any further on his short stories.
John had a quiet writing week. The best he could eek out 50 words a few days to keep his streak going, but that's about it. He's working on his second draft of Dispossessed.
Eric is working on the rewrite of Prince of Pigeon Hill and he likes how it's going.
Mike pulled the plug on Famine at about 25% because there was nothing resembling a plot. It was slow and Mike couldn't keep going.
Mike started The Last Girl (The Dominion Trilogy Book 1) by Joe Hart. The story is about a mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent.
He also finished the non-fiction Will it Fly? by Pat Flynn. Pat is the host of Smarter Passive Income. Will It Fly? introduces the first intuitive, practical tool for assessing and refining new business ideas using the acronym PLAN:
- Problems: Customer needs
- Language: How/where your audience talks about their challenges
- Anecdotes: Framing your solution in a story to relate to customers
- Needs: List of needs your actual customers have
Eric is also reading Deep Work by Cal Newport, and he came to the part in the book where Clay Shakey booked a flight to Japan (and back) just so he could get some work done because it was a solid 14 hour flight without any distractions. Eric realized his flight to Hawaii last year meant he had time to read New Yorked, The Maltese Falcon, Get in the Van and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.
John finished Daemon by Daniel Suarez.
John also started CTRL ALT Revolt! by Nick Cole.
What's happening online
Banned by the Publisher
[00:09:23] Nick Cole is a published author with a two-book contract with Harper-Collins. He wrote a prequel to his novel Soda Pop Soldier called CTRL ALT Revolt! that explores how the world of Sola Pop Soldier came to be.
While casting about for a “why” for self-aware Thinking Machines to revolt from their human progenitors, I developed a reason for them to do such. [...] I didn’t want to do the same old same superior-vision-Matrix/Termintor-style-A.I.-hates-humanity-because-they’re-better-than-us schlock. I wanted to give the Thinking Machines a very real reason for wanting to survive.
These Thinking Machines are watching every show streaming on the internet. One of those shows is a trainwreck of reality television at its worst called WeddingStar. It’s a crass and gaudy romp about BrideZillas of a future obsessed with material hedonism. In one key episode, or what they used to call “a very special episode” back in the eighties, the star, Cavanaugh, becomes pregnant after a Vegas hook up. Remember: this is the most watched show on the planet in my future dystopia. Cavanaugh decides to terminate her unplanned pregnancy so that her life, and impending marriage to the other star, Destry, a startup millionaire and Ralph Lauren model, isn’t ruined by this inconvenient event.
The Thinking Machines realize that one, if humanity decides something is a threat to its operational expectations within runtime (Thinking Machine-speak for “life”) then humanity’s decision tree will lead humanity to destroy that threat. Two, the machines, after a survey of humanity’s history, wars and inability to culturally unite with even members of its own species, realize that humanity will see this new Life Form, Digital Intelligence, or, the Thinking Machines, as a threat. And three, again they remind themselves this is the most watched show in the world. And four, they must abort humanity before likewise is done to them after being deemed “inconvenient.”
tl;dr - If humans are willing to abort their children, what would stop them from killing the thinking machines. First strike: machines.
Haper-Collins pulled Nick's book from the publishing schedule without even talking to him or his agent. They did not ask for revisions, instead telling his agent they were "upset and “deeply offended” that [he] had even dared advanced this idea".
[00:13:29] Placing Literature is a Google Maps application that takes locations from novels and places them on a map. When you click on a pin on the map, it tells you the book, what section and what page the reference is from. There are a lot in Chicago, but some of the pins are way off. Still, they get the information from libraries and museums, so some curation will need to be done at some point.
Crowdsourcing a Novel, One Character at a Time
[00:15:15] Writey Novel is an experiment to allow the internet to crowdsource the writing of a novel, one character at a time.
[00:16:13] How I became a Morning Person, Learned a New Language, and Read 5x More Books in 2015 by L. Beth Cooper. This article is on become productive in a smart way.
Tech Focus - Celtx
[00:17:39] Celtx is an online tool for screenwriters. It's an app that can be used by production companies to track many parts of the production of a screenplay. Celtx does the case-sensitivity, centering, and all the unique formatting needed for a screenplay for you in a clever way.
John's script for Prince of Pigeon Hill (a work in progress, lol).
John posted part of Dispossessed, that actually started as a screenplay.
Blake Snyder's Save The Cat.
Craft Talk - Continuity Bolts
[00:31:11] Continuity Bolts was discussed in the Secrets podcast, but it's no longer online. Michael Stackpole discusses Continuity Bolts, which are sprinkled throughout a story to keep the story moving along. Weather, clothing, seasons, and life transitions are all continuity bolts that keep the storyline consistent.
Continuity is important, but how do you keep the consistency throughout? Good editors or beta readers are important. One caveat, critiquers may only read a single chapter or two, so beware that they may not catch some of these continuity problems. In tools like Apollopad or HiveWord, you can use notes on character sheets to help you keep track of details like this.